It is better if you start with The Prologue first
That Sunday was the day of the Craft Fayre. I had not bothered to book a stall as I hadn’t been certain of our return from holiday. Lucy had, so we were up early; as this was a Sunday morning the ‘we’ obviously excluded my teen.
We had decided that I would help Lucy with her stand; for this ‘we’ read Lucy.
It turned out to be a good idea. I learned a lot more about Lucy, specifically her wood turning skills and her sales ability. She seemed to know just what to say to each person, rather than using an impersonal script approach. It also gave me the chance to really take in the fayre itself, to walk around and chat to the other stall holders.
I took the opportunity to talk to Sheila about my idea and, with her guidance, a few other regulars. All but one were keen to at least see if my idea was feasible. Another rather pleasant thing was that I was already recognised by a few of the regulars who asked where my stand was. Everyone was more than understanding when I explained.
When I returned from my longer foray I saw Lucy deep in conversation with a familiar figure.
‘Hi Helen, fancy seeing you here.’ I said to my ex-coaching colleague. ‘Be careful here won’t you. The stuff is very poor quality and she charges an arm and a leg for it at that.’ I said trying to keep a straight face.
It was far from a straight face I got from Lucy. Somehow I would be paying for that remark I thought as soon as the words had left my mouth.
‘Oh I wouldn’t agree with that. Her work is very good but you’re right about the latter though,’ Helen replied with a smile. ’I’ve bought the odd piece before and have yet to get a discount.’
‘You just don’t know how to go about it.’ I said as I watched Lucy studying me as I walked to stand immediately in front of her. ‘Watch!’ I said and then picked Lucy up for a kiss. Her reluctance was very short lived as was, for us at least, the kiss.
By the time I put her back down Helen was laughing loudly. ‘Well I must admit, I’ve never tried that particular tactic. You have some news for me then?’
I had just made the introductions when a young man picked up one of Lucy’s pricier bowls. Leaving Lucy to deal with Helen I approached the man. I could see, and understand, his initial disappointment that it wasn’t the pretty young woman that served him. Still his interest was genuine and after about ten minutes he wandered off having bought the piece.
I looked towards the two women and saw that they were still deep in conversation. The furtive looks they periodically gave me hinted that they weren’t just talking shop. When they’d finished I was totally stunned when Helen came and kissed me full on the lips before saying her goodbyes.
‘Well that confirms that then,’ said Lucy enigmatically.
‘If you say so,’ I responded, making no effort to fathom the meaning.
Lucy obviously wanted me to ask as she answered anyway. ‘That you’ve never been romantically involved with Helen.’
’I’ve told you, you are the first since my wife was killed. As I’m not blind and I had to work with Helen, of course I noticed her but despite the odd prompt from a few parents never had the inclination to follow it up.’
‘Good for me and pity for you,’ she grinned. ‘You would undoubtedly have succeeded.’
But for that parting kiss I would have felt obliged to argue. It appeared that Helen’s initial reluctance was just that – initial.
By comparison, the rest of the day was rather dull. As we were packing up Lucy asked what I wanted to do that evening. I replied that I was still tired from the long day on Saturday and just wanted to slob out. The way Lucy asked, I guessed that there was something specific that she wanted to do, yet the way she instantly accepted my preferences endeared her to me even more.
It was Kate, when we got back to my place, that moaned about how it must be my age that made me feel tired. She refused to take into mitigation the fact that she had gotten up a full six hours after I had. Kate complaining that I was no fun, made arrangements to visit one of her non-footballing friends even arranging a lift back. It did mean that I had to drive her there but I could live with that.
That evening evolved into one of the best in my entire life. Not for any single thing but more about how those around me made me feel. Despite Kate’s joking I knew that she wanted to give me and Lucy some space. That said a lot about my daughter’s feelings for me and was just the first thing to warm my heart.
Lucy selected a soft romantic CD and the first hour or so was spent with her in my arms totally relaxed as the music washed over us. Very little was said and the time was almost mystical. Gradually as the day’s tension drained we started to talk. That Lucy was aware that I needed this time was yet another big plus. For a change, our talk was not flippant. I think we both sensed that there was something important about the moment. I won’t say that we’d reached a crossroads in our relationship but we wanted to talk about us.
I started by telling her that although the physical lust was undoubtedly still there, I was beginning to feel a lot more than the simple ‘like’ that had initially accompanied it. I said that I already wanted it to be longer term hopefully becoming permanent.
‘Why now David,’ Lucy asked quietly and in all seriousness.
‘I know it has only been a few weeks but those two weeks in Greece without you convinced me that I wanted more. I should have just been revelling in Kate’s company, and I did of course, but somehow it wasn’t quite enough. All I needed to know was whether you felt something similar.’
I kissed her softly and briefly. ‘If you don’t then I really need to know now.’
‘So you can finish it?’
‘No!’ I stated firmly. ‘At least not unless that’s what you want. Just so that I know what to expect. I daren’t let myself get hurt again.’
Lucy caressed my cheek. ‘Silly, I couldn’t hurt you like that. I’ll be honest, unlike you I’ve never been in love so don’t know what it feels like. I do know that what I already feel for you is stronger, and much better, than anything I’ve felt before. I can’t promise anything in the long run, but I want, no make that need, to see how far we can go.’
When she finished speaking I realised that I’d been holding my breathe throughout. The relief I felt was tangible and must have been very obvious to Lucy.
‘You really were worried?’
I nodded before pulling her to me and holding her very tight. The moment got to both of us as we must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew was my daughter’s sympathetic laughter. After an hour of listening to my daughter’s day I headed for bed. There Lucy and I made the most gentle and bonding love possible.
This is a romantic story of 13 chapters,set in the north Midlands of England and is written using an English vocabulary. Where I know of differing meanings for my none English readers then I have explained them. If I miss any please feel free to ask.
The Potteries — The area of Stoke-on-Trent famed for its production of pottery included names like Wedgwood, Doulton, Minton, Spode and many others. http://www.thepotteries.org
Throwing — the art of throwing clay onto a Potter’s Wheel and building up a ‘pot’ http://www.wikihow.com/Throw-a-Pot
North Staffordshire oatcakes are a local delicacy, though their delicious flavour doesn’t seem to have spread too far. Plan a visit to almost any Stokie living away and a request for a dozen or so oatcakes is almost immediate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oatcake